When The Soul is Murdered in Search of Profit
Perhaps it was a favorite local eatery that after a decade of perfection one day become every bit as mediocre as Denny’s. It could have been a favorite line of shoes that you were excited to finally find on sale at Walmart, only to find it wasn’t the same shoe at all.
“It,” invisible to the naked eye, is the soul sucking sound of the move from passion and purpose to profit. And it’s happening right now to shoes, clothing, hair salons, tires, coffee shops, and in all manner of business large and small.
I suspect “it” may even be happening to Facebook as we speak.
In the beginning businesses are less a cunning strategy than an expression of passion by a person on fire and on purpose. Plans are often drawn after to justify the insanity.
On the extremely rare occasions when everything goes according to plan you and I get to touch and feel the products or services, we like them. They are new, fresh (even when they often aren’t really) and authentic.
There’s an energy and aliveness that is exciting.
We rush to wear, ride, drink, consume, and experience them in every way. There’s almost no wrong the people or company can do. And we share them. We rant and rave to friends about the new thing they absolutely must experience.
Enter the Wizards
From the outside looking in—the vantage point of well educated folk—it looks all too much like there’s a great product here, a nice shoe, a terrific new supplement in an amazing round bottle with a lid. That’s to say, they “smells like money.”
But what this well-educated yet partially blind eye doesn’t see is the Mojo—the real magic that is propelling the phenomenon; the wave of energy we’re all surfing.
The “soul wave,” is the 3rd and 4th dimensions of the product or service that doesn’t show up on paper, and can’t be weighed, measured, picked up or packaged and thus escapes the perception of most of the people who wear their ties too tight.
The Soul of a person, product, community or company is the invisible, intangible source of magic, energy, attraction—that thing which made it extraordinary. It’s the 21 grams that makes you and I, you and I.
Tragically, because it’s invisible to most people it’s the first thing to be extracted when the “new regime” comes marching in with their calculators and spreadsheets—or when the current leaders are being “coached to profits.” Profits, profits, profits is the motto of as the once soulful, inspired company is quickly “exercised.” Out comes the new, soulless entity often with a new tag-line or logo in its place.
Fast forward months later…Sales plummeting, consumers no longer excited, the "Exorcists" are puzzled. "What happened to our perfect profit machine?,” they mumble as they stagger in a daze.
They have no clue what happened. All their “indicators” point to success. They can’t see for they see but two-dimensions; the black and red ink of a PL statement.
This sort of “Soul Exorcism” has happened to thousands of products you know and have at one time liked and trusted. It may even have happened at a company you worked—I’ve seen it myself, first-hand.
Where have you felt the “Elvis leave the building” on one of your favorite brands?
Tell me your stories: